12:53 GMT24 October 2020
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    Unlike numerous radical Islamist factions in Syria, the "true" opposition forces show strong support for the ongoing parliamentary elections in Syria, as they desire to play a part in strengthening democratic institutions in the country, a lawmaker and a member of the French legislative defense commission told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova — Syria is holding parliamentary elections on Wednesday. Over 7,000 polling stations opened across the country earlier in the day. Over 3,500 candidates are contesting the 250 seats in Syria's parliament.

    "I believe that most of the true political opposition to Assad, which is not Islamist, is favorable to such elections. We met during our recent trip to Syria MPs who were not belonging to Assad's majority and we heard they were wishing to play their democratic role," Nicolas Dhuicq, a member of the French lawmakers' delegation that visited Damascus at the end of March, said.

    Dhuicq added that Wednesday’s vote in Syria is a "symbolic gesture in a country at war after five years of slaughter, especially when al-Nusra is gaining strength around Aleppo."

    Earlier in April, Syrian President Bashar Assad told Sputnik in an interview that holding parliamentary elections confirmed the existence of Syria as a state despite the presence of terrorism, and the large number of candidates in the electoral process showed there was strong support and desire among the Syrians to strengthen Damascus's legitimacy.

    The current parliamentary elections are the second held in the country since the beginning of the civil war in 2011. The previous parliamentary elections were held in May 2012, with voter turnout exceeding 51 percent, which is equal to some five million people, according to Syria's electoral committee.


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